Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

Moderation? Psh, not really my thing.

Making 2 rounds of fritters, and watching 10 episodes of Orange is the New Black in one day? More my thing.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

I recently made some curried carrot fritters, and in the process realized that I didn’t just “like” fritters…nope, I might just be a fritter freak.

FRITTER FREAK. What a label.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto | veggieandthebeastfeast.comBlack Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

Making the curried carrot fritters reminded me of a sandwich I order at Brasa, a restaurant in the Twin Cities, that makes a black bean fritter sandwich that haunts my dreams. I crave it ALL THE TIME, so I decided to make a slightly healthier version for at home.

(Quick note – if you live in the Twin Cities GO TO BRASA. GET THE FRITTER AND YUCCA FRIES. k? k.)

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

Since I love black beans, sweet potatoes and chili powder together, I combined them in these little crispy patties. As you may know, I have fresh basil at my fingertips (thanks, Ry/Beast!!!), so the pistachio pesto was a no-brainer.

To make things a tad less indulgent, I like eating these fritters with some tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pesto in a blanket of butter lettuce. Yes, the ciabatta bun that the restaurant version comes on is better than lettuce, because OMG CARBS, but if you want a tasty and healthier option, go for the butter, baby.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

This recipe, friends, uses chia eggs. I know, it might sound a bit strange to some of you, but they are an ah-mazing binder.

If you’re not into vegan binder options, feel free to substitute a chicken egg wherever you see me use an alternative.

Those who know me know I get food aversions sometimes, and currently eggs are one of them. It’s okay though, cause what I lack in egg enjoyment I make up for in fried fritter love.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Fritters with Pistachio Pesto | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

In related news, Ryan has started singing “Fat kid in a skinny body…” to me on the daily. #friedstuff
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Crispy Whole Grain Honey Cornbread Waffles

Crispy Whole Grain Honey Cornbread Waffles | veggieandthebeastfeast.com
Dear Cornbread,

I’m sorry for all the smack I used to talk about you. I was out of line.

I used to wish you were something different – something saltier, maybe cheesier, and definitely less sweet. I used to think you looked better on the outside than you tasted on the inside.

Crispy Whole Grain Honey Cornbread Waffles | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

Then I had a raspberry cornbread cake that altered my whole cornbread outlook. Then I made some high protein jalapeño cheddar cornbread muffins (book recipe!), and THEN I made some golden brown, crispy, cornbread waffles.

I now realize that you are perfect in that grey area of salty and sweet. You shine in that grey area.

Crispy Whole Grain Honey Cornbread Waffles | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

These waffles are lightly sweetened with honey, just slightly salty, and oh-so-crispy. They become golden brown on the outside, but have a fluffy center with just a bit of cornbread texture.

I’ve made this recipe 3 times in the past 2 weeks, and every time they turned out fantastically crunchy and flavorful. You can make them with non-dairy milk and a flax egg, or with the standard dairy milk and chicken egg – either way is perfect! The recipe makes 3 Belgian waffles (slightly smaller than 8″), but if you are serving a larger crowd you can easily double (or triple?) it.

Crispy Whole Grain Honey Cornbread Waffles | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

You just keep being you, cornbread, because you are pretty great.
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Easy Vegetable Chow Mein

Easy Vegetable Chow Mein | veggieandthebeastfeast.com

It was 7:30 on a Monday, we were driving Teia home from her doggy obedience class (she’s in level II now, dontchaknow) and suddenly I needed chow mein. NEEDED it. It was a “gotta have it/can’t stop/won’t stop thinking about it until I get it” type thing. You know the drill.

That craving resulted in a recipe that has graced my kitchen multiple times over the past few weeks, and I’m sharing it over on Greens & Chocolate today! Get the recipe here.

Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirl

Vegan Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirl

Although I’m never one to turn down a dessert, I’m just not into single-flavored ice cream. I’ll take a few licks of a good chocolate cone, but then I get bored. Give me some texture, like broken up graham cracker pie crust, chunks of partially-frozen peanut butter, chocolate chips, sprinkles, chopped peanuts, etc. and it’s a whole new world to me. This is why I love/hate fro-yo bars. When Ryan and I go he asks if I want to split something, but NO, because he’s the guy who gets white chocolate fro-yo then mixes kiwi with caramel and those gelatinous lychee balls. I can’t get on board with that, so we walk up to the counter with very different creations in our hands. Mine is usually double the weight of his, yet it’s gone in half the time.

Now that I have an ice cream machine, I’m having fun putting my favorite toppings into my frozen treats. It’s like Coldstone in here, but without the teenage workers who don’t want your tips because it means they have to sing. I never know what to do there – can I just slip them a buck under the counter and call it good? Or is “the man” always watching? Deep thoughts.

Vegan Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirl

Anyway, I digress. Last week, after discovering Caribou’s salted caramel cold press, my favorite Friday treat, has more sugar than I should consume in an entire day (60 grams!!!), I decided to make myself a proper salted caramel dessert to have at the end of the day, instead of in my morning coffee (…because that’s better, right? Logic?). Since a salted caramel swirl, while delicious, wouldn’t be enough texture for me, I layered in some pretzels for a little extra salted crunch.

Vegan Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirl

The resulting ice cream is super smooth, chocolatey (from both cocoa powder and semisweet chips), and salty from the sweet, buttery caramel and the little pretzel pieces. The pretzels lose a little of their crunch after being frozen, but they still give each lick/spoonful a little extra something…the extra something I need in order to devour the whole thing.

Vegan Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Swirl

I made the ice cream with light coconut milk, and the result was perfectly creamy and perfect. I can only imagine full fat would make it even dreamier, but it’s not necessary. To keep it vegan, I used vegan butter in the caramel, but regular butter would work fine if you’d prefer to use it. I added just a tablespoon of whiskey to the ice cream base, because vegan ice creams tend to be less scoopable than their dairy counterparts. It should be fine if you want to leave it out, but you’ll probably want the ice cream to sit out for a few more minutes before serving.
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15-Minute Lemon Artichoke Spaghetti

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Pasta - an easy, flavor-packed #vegan pasta that can be whipped up in 15 minutes!

Oh hey, friends. Happy Monday. I don’t usually post on Mondays, but I feel like breaking away from the norm this week. Go nuts, right?

I spent yesterday morning and early afternoon having some (mostly) productive kitchen time. I made one of my takeout faves for an upcoming guest post, an ice cream for later this week (SO excited aboooot that), and then I tried to make some mini tomato tarts. In my mind they were going to be so cute! and little! and tomato-y! and packed with flavor!

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Pasta - an easy, flavor-packed #vegan pasta that can be whipped up in 15 minutes!

I made my go-to savory whole wheat pastry dough, bought a mini muffin tin, and confidently loaded those suckers up before throwing them in the oven. While they baked I set up my tripod and photo table, and even over-confidently took some test photos, because obviously things would be beautiful and perfect.

Oy, did those ever fail. SUPER fail. I think I’m going to compile all of my recipe fails to post at the end of the year. There have just been some truly epic issues in my kitchen as of late, and I feel the need to post them as a sort of therapeutic exercise.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Pasta - an easy, flavor-packed #vegan pasta that can be whipped up in 15 minutes!

That night I went to my parent’s house and tried to go through some old stuff in my childhood room. In the process I found my rock collection (wait, am I really admitting I had a rock collection?), and sent Ryan a picture. “Hey that looks just like those “tarts” from earlier today,” he replied.

Hey! Unfair! Except also pretty true.

Fortunately, the next recipe on my list to make was this lovely little lickety split pasta. I made it last weekend as a cold pasta salad, and it was AWESOME the day I made it, but the next day it was a bone-dry addition to my baby kale salad. When Ryan spooned up some leftovers that same day he said it tasted like I had added chalk. Not-so-yums.

Creamy Lemon Artichoke Pasta - an easy, flavor-packed #vegan pasta that can be whipped up in 15 minutes!

To fix the bone-dry issue, I boiled the canned artichokes with some vegetable broth (because those guys needed some LIQUID), and then used the broth to puree the artichokes into a sauce with lemon, garlic, olive oil, and pepper. SO EASY.

If you’re not concerned with keeping it vegan, add a bit of crumbled goat cheese when you mix in the sauce. CREAMY GOODNESS. Or just leave it as-is, cause that’s awesome too, and that’s my lunch for the week.

And those tarts? In the trash. Eep.

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